In June 2019, Netflix brought back to life the story of the last family of the three-century-old Romanov dynasty and the collapse of the monarchy of the Russian Empire during the October Revolution. Lithuania was part of the Russian Empire for almost 123 years, till 1918. The Netflix miniseries with the story about Czar Nicholas II and his family were filmed in Lithuania at the same time as HBO's Chernobyl. The miniseries depicts the luxurious life of the Romanov family and the atmosphere of the 20th century's Russian Empire. Filming locations in Vilnius and its surroundings, perfectly portray the surroundings of Siberia, Moscow, and Russian Orthodox Churches. Thus, get a closer look at these famous Netflix miniseries and find yourself exploring locations where it was shot.
The Last Czars miniseries also depict a life of mysterious Rasputin who befriended the Czar Nicholas II family and gained influence in the late Russian Empire political life. In the first episode of the Netflix miniseries, the scenes about Rasputin and his home village in Siberia were taken in the Lithuanian Folk Museum - one of the largest Europe's open-air museums. In the real-life, the Lithuanian Folk Museum depicts ethnographic regions of Lithuania with the characteristic of the 18-20th centuries architecture.
The 18th-century neoclassical mansion, in the Verkiai Regional Park in Vilnius, perfectly portrayed the Count Yusupov residence palace in Moscow. Count Yusupov was the one who murdered Rasputin. The wooded version of Verkiai Palace was built in the 16th century. In the 18th century, the palace and its ensemble were reconstructed. Nowadays, the palace and its buildings are surrounded by parks and forests of the Verkiai Regional Park. It is believed that the name of the palace "Verkiai" (Lithuanian "verkti" - to cry), came from the legend about a crying baby, which was found in the eagle's nest right where the mansion stands nowadays.
When Alexander II, the father of Czar Nicholas II, passed away, Nicholas II took the throne and become a ruler of the Russian Empire. In the Netflix series The Last Czars, Nicholas' coronation scene was shot in the Orthodox Cathedral of The Dormition of The Theotokos in Vilnius. This Orthodox Cathedral, located next to the bank of the Vilnelė River, near the Užupis District and Bernardinai Garden, is the main Orthodox Christian church of Vilnius and entire Lithuania. Cathedral of the Theotokos was built in the 14th century by the Grand Duke of Lithuania Algirdas for his Orthodox wife. During the history, the cathedral suffered from wars, but after the latest reconstruction, serves Orthodox people and attracts visitors by its great exterior and interesting insides.
Franciscan Monastery situated in Trakai Street in Vilnius, is the oldest monastery of Lithuania with the remaining historical appearance. In The Last Czars, the surrounding of the Franciscan Monastery was a backdrop for the Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich's carriage explosion. The history of Franciscan Monastery starts in the 14th century. The church is famous for its gothic and baroque style architecture. It is believed that the sculpture of the St. Virgin Mary in this church is magical and has healing powers.
In The Last Czars, the scene with Czarina Alexandra in her Mauve Boudoir was filmed in the mansion of Trakų Vokė. This mansion, located in the middle of Vilnius and Trakai historical town, is the 19th-century palace which belonged to Count Tiškevičius. The mansion has elements of neo-gothic, neoclassical, and eclectic styles. The Italian architect Oleandras Marconis designed the mansion following the form of the Polish King's residence in Warsaw. Nowadays, various exhibitions and excursions are organized in the mansion.
Follow the historical path of the last family of the Romanov dynasty in the Netflix series The Last Czars while exploring filming locations in Vilnius and its surroundings. The tragic ending of the Nicholas II family was portraited in the sceneries, mansion, and churches of Lithuania. This is how the chronicle of the end of the Russian Empire is coming back to life in Lithuania.
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